The Citizen Airmen of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron "Hurricane Hunters" mark the start of the hurricane season on June 1 by flying a disturbance currently in the Caribbean. The squadron is scheduled to fly at low levels in the disturbance on June 2.
The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters, the only operational hurricane reconnaissance squadron in the world, started early this year when they flew Subtropical Storm Andrea in early May.
The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration predicts 13 to 17 named storms with seven to 10 becoming hurricanes. This season, the state-of-the-art WC-130J will be equipped with the Stepped-Frequency Microwave Radiometer, which continuously measures surface winds and rainfall rates occurring below the aircraft.
The data collected by the Hurricane Hunters increase the accuracy of the National Hurricane Center Forecast up to 30 percent. (Air Force Photo/ Tech. Sgt. James Pritchett)